Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Geological Events and Hubris

Old NFO has a post about the amount of ash being spewed into the atmosphere by Mount Sinabung in Indonesia. The volcano has put out the equivalent of 7 years of human made pollution into the atmosphere in just 2 days. It's a good reminder of how puny man's efforts are when compare to nature.

For example, the Hiroshima bomb was equivalent to about 15,000 tons of TNT. The largest nuclear weapon ever exploded was done by the Russians. It was called the Tsar Bomb and it was equivalent to 50,000,000 tons of TNT, or over 3,000 times the yield of the Hiroshima weapon.

I've blogged about volcanoes and the Volcanic Explosive Index before. The highest VEI is 8. That is equivalent to 150,000,000 tons of TNT or 3 times the Tsar Bomb. Why should we care? Well, just a little ways from Mount Sinabung is Lake Toba. The lake was formed over 70,000 years ago by the eruption of a super volcano. That eruption had an VEI of 8 and the theory is that it almost made mankind extinct. Another large eruption in recent history was Mount Tambora, also in Indonesia, that caused the year without a summer in 1816. That one had a VEI of 7, which is 1/10 of Lake Toba.

I hope that Mount Sinabung is acting like a relief valve and venting excess pressure from the nearby super volcano. If not, the anthropomorphic climate change folks may have to rethink their theory.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Concur... we DO NOT need another ice age!!!